Hi Everyone, it’s Nisha from Blue Sunday and I’m so excited to introduce to you our featured sewer for the month of October. If you’re seeing Sewcializing with a Sewcialist for the first time … these articles are all about getting to know those friendly faces featured in the Sewcialist Flickr Pool. Every month a Sewcialist gives us a little peak inside their world to inspire and share their knowledge.
This month we’ll be hanging out with Jenny from Cashmerette & Curvy Sewing Collective. This sewcialist is going to be fun and inspiring! She’s already inspired me to get out of my sewing comfort zone, buy a Burda pattern & add making a coat to my sewing list! Grab your favorite beverage and let’s hang with Jenny.
Jenny – how did you get your start sewing?
A colleague came to the office one day in a fabulous skirt and when I asked her where she’d bought it, she said she’s sewed it with fabric from IKEA! I was stunned at the idea of being able to make my own clothes. It took me another year, but I took a simple introduction class and then jumped straight in, using lots of online tutorials and following blogs. I’ve been sewing for about 4 years now, and I’m constantly learning.
What is your best sewing organizational tip and how has it helped keep you organized?
I hang all my pattern pieces on clothes hangers, which I keep on a rail in my sewing room. Everything’s easy to access, and there’s no need to fold the pieces.
What sewing tool can you absolutely not live without and why?
My rotary cutter and mat – I’m so much more accurate using them, and an awful lot faster!
What is your favorite online shopping retailer?
For fabric, I absolutely adore Emma One Sock – she buys fabric directly from designers, and the variety and quality are fantastic.
Where do you find inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration from plus size fashion bloggers, like Gabi Gregg and Nicolette Mason. They show how curvy women can wear the latest fashions – thanks to Gabi, I even recently made a crop top and wore it out in public!
How do you sewcialize?
I set up the Curvy Sewing Collective with some of my other plus size sewing blogger friends, and it’s been a fantastic way to come together and help the whole community of curvy sewists. We have a forum and lots of guest contributors, and it’s been a lovely way to meet other women just like me. In addition, I go to the Crafty Foxes sewing group every Wednesday night at Grey’s Fabrics – it’s such a fun group, including Katy and Laney, Ping, and many others.
Speaking of the Curvy Sewing Collective what’s your best advice for curvy sewists?
While everyone can enjoy the fun of sewing, I think it’s curvy women who can get the most out of it! It’s so hard to find well fitting and modern RTW clothes, but once you learn how to sew, you can create your own wardrobe that flatters and fits. If you’re starting, great options are making things like a simple wrap skirt or the Colette Moneta dress which is really drafted well for plus sizes. Then, you’re going to need to learn the basic adjustments, like a Full Bust Adjustment and widening waists – they’re actually pretty simple, and once you have them down it will make a huge difference to your fitting.
In terms of pattern companies, unfortunately I don’t think there’s a single company that really meets all our needs right now. However, Colette’s new knit patterns go up to 3XL (the Moneta and Myrtle are particularly great), Style Arc has all their patterns up to a size 30 (although unfortunately the instructions are really bad, so they’re not good for beginners), and I’ve heard good things about Hot Patterns, too. And of course the Big 4 often (though not always) goes into plus sizes – if you do go the Big 4 route though, make sure you choose your size based on finished garment measurement and not the body measurement as they assume enormous amounts of ease. I often “size down” 2 – 3 sizes from the suggested size.
What’s your proudest sewing moment to date?
Making my winter coat last year! It took me a very long time and I painstakingly researched and executed every step. I ended up wearing it all winter, and felt fantastic every time I put it on. I’m planning an emerald green version this year!
What’s on your sewing table right now?
I’m making my second winter coat! I’m using an amazing emerald green 100% cashmere coating from Mood, lined with a flamingo poly crepe de chine from EmmaOne Sock. Last year I made Simplicity 1759 and fit it for my chest, so I’m going to use that pattern again, but use view B which is a narrow collar which stands up. I’m hoping to make a medium weight coat that will work for Fall and Spring, so I need to get going quickly!
You have got to love these makes and by the way that super hot black jersey dress at the top of the post that is EVERYTHING … is Jenny’s first Burda pattern. And if you want know more about Jenny and the Curvy Sewing Collective, definitely check our her blog, Cashmerette. Jenny – big thanks for allowing me access to you and your pictures.
Don’t forget to post those makes to the Sewcialist Flickr Pool! See ya next month.